Take a Stand Against Human Trafficking


Human trafficking is a global issue, and anyone can become a victim, including men, women, and children. Every country is affected by human trafficking, including the United States. In 2016, there were over 7,500 tips of human trafficking reported to the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline, more than 2,000 of which involved children and youth under the age of 18. 

Worse still, trafficked persons often go unnoticed. A 2014 study published in the Annals of Health Law found that nearly 88% of participants identifying as sex trafficking survivors had some contact with healthcare while being exploited (Lederer and Wetzel). A 2017 survey report from the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST) found that over half of labor and sex trafficking survivors surveyed had accessed health care at least once while being trafficked. Nearly 97% indicated they had never been provided with information or resources about human trafficking while visiting the health care provider. These studies underscore the reality that medical care providers are often unprepared to identify and appropriately respond to trafficked persons. 

Dignity Health has taken a stand to change this reality by creating the Human Trafficking Response (HTR) Program. The HTR Program is championed by Dignity Health Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and System Chief Nurse Executive, Page West, and Executive Vice President for Sponsorship and Mission Integration, Elizabeth Keith, with support from the 
Dignity Health Foundation. The goals of this Program are to ensure trafficked persons are identified in the healthcare setting and appropriately assisted with compassionate care and services.

To learn more about this Program, please download the Dignity Health Human Trafficking Response Shared Learnings Manual. For additional information, please read Human Trafficking: Recognizing and Responding to Victims of Human Trafficking by Holly Austin Gibbs, BA, and Dean White, LCSW (available in Collaborative Case Management, Issue 58).

Are you interested in implementing a similar Human Trafficking Response Program in your healthcare system? If so, please download the Dignity Health Human Trafficking Response Program Shared Learnings Manual.

Download Shared Learnings Manual

Survivor-Led and Survivor-Informed

Dignity Health’s Human Trafficking Response Program is led by Holly Austin Gibbs, a survivor of child sex trafficking and nationally known expert. Holly regularly provides testimony and input to law enforcement officials, legislators, social service providers, human trafficking task forces, and journalists. Holly is the author of the influential book Walking Prey: How America's Youth are Vulnerable to Sex Slavery.

Victim-Centered and Trauma-Informed

Dignity Health has created internal educational modules and victim response procedures that emphasize the importance of victim/patient-centered and trauma-informed care. These modules are provided to staff in-person and as interactive modules online.

Make an Impact


Your contributions help fund staff positions and system-wide rollout. Your donation is complemented by Dignity Health's financial contribution for all training and program leadership. Donations can be cash or credit—or through payroll deduction if you are a Dignity Health employee.

Donate Now

Make an Impact


Your contributions help fund staff positions and system-wide rollout. Your donation is complemented by Dignity Health's financial contribution for all training and program leadership. Donations can be cash or credit—or through payroll deduction if you are a Dignity Health employee.

Donate Now